Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Modelling; a hobby or something else?

''' Gary -
that is true.... sometimes... when i'm confused.... talking with friends or doing models or sketching really calms me down and.. i feel happy.. like in a world of my own
 really... i made the right choice making modelling my hobby

Miguel -
because doing it you can be a little boy...and a little boy doesn't get worried about adult silly things...if you grow older and think you must become serious and mature, you´re lost, we must always grow with the little boy inside and amaze with every single and simple thing in life like...the un, the Moon, the dust!!! a sand grain, how an animal looks like, whatever as if it was the very first time you see them  '''

That is taken from a very very old chat that I had some years ago with a close friend. It was back in 2008 and I was having a kind of crisis with my then-current relationship. And that is exactly what we said about modelling among all the various topics we talked about.The more I think about it, the more I realize that modelling is about stress-relief ( not the OTHER kind of stress, mind you ), something to make you forget about all the worries of a adult person struggling in this WAR call life. I fail to understand why it has to become something even more stressful.

That aforementioned friend, Miguel, always told me ( and I quote ) '' don't try to kill yourself, Gary '' with my models, to take things easy and just to enjoy it. The quote came up when we were talking about whether to put too much PE parts or not on our Panzers. Evidently of what he said, he build in the same way, I haven't seen him bashing his head on the wall over a model, he just keep building and he just enjoys it and with each kits, he seems to be improving.

He was right though. When I start modelling, I was attending my foundation course and coming from a Thrid World country ( Burma ) and suddenly being taught in the British Education system, I was struggling so much to follow, not to mention the language barrier which also impeded on my social life back then. Modelling was my let out. I remember building my very first model here, a Revell 1/72 Halifax Bomber, slowly on days that I don't have classes or the weekends. It was a blissful experience, away from the clamoring of the class rooms and coursework, hearing nothing but the music I turn on, seeing nothing but the model in front of me, holding nothing but the pieces and a glue bottle. Nothing but a little boy, enjoying his time alone, exactly what my friend said.

Skip a few years - I got settled in London, made friends, met other modelers  post on forums start getting recognized and things just become to change. My thinking changed, my purpose of modelling changed. What  I started as a hobby became something else. I don't know what it become, I still can't find the answer but its not a hobby anymore. Under the pretense of  building for myself, I began to build to get recognized, to be known, to get comments like '' great work'' , '' awesome'' blah blah. I like scratch building and I do scratch build and with what I have done on my Nataku, Noir, Astrea, Perfect and Legend, I was basking in the glow of those comments ( well, I am not exactly in the level of guys such as Julius Lim or Decay but I do have my own level ) that I was no longer building for myself but to get those comments.

I strived to improve myself, to be able to build like those guys, lying to myself that the reason was sorely to improve myself. That is only partly true as the other reason for that is to be popular (like the guys that build in Ora-zaku or the winners of GWBC and such).I did not realize I was wrong in thinking like that until a few months ago. I became competitive as well. I used to hate competition, I was a '' let me live/work/play with my own pace and freedom '' kind of person and I disgust the hatred that comes with competition. To think I changed just for some models that one builds for fun.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with one of my friends and we were talking about how one modeler ( i cannot name who for privacy reason ) skips sleep, stay up until like 5 or 6 in the morning which resulted in  deprivation of sleep, getting in trouble with his girlfriend, etc. My friend told me '' that's a kind of suffering u know, is it worth it? Do we do something to suffer or to have fun? now that's something to think about'' and I just had to agree with him. Yes, I do work on through the nights as well but only when I get days off for like 3-4 days or on my holidays. When I was in a relationship, I couldn't even build at all. (I'm working night shifts so my productivity reduced a thousand fold ) For something that is regarded as a Hobby, is it worth it to build something with so much compromises and sufferings?

I don't know that answer to that question myself, but I know this, I build for myself, as a hobby and I will be getting rid of all those stupid way of thinking slowly but surely. Come to think of it, I already started doing this with starting with my Legend Gundam WIP, many people says it is too tall blah blah but I turned them down ( politely, of course ) as I only have to please my own creativity. I might be contradicting myself to say I do not want ANY comments at all. I want.... I need the more important stuffs like feedbacks, tips, suggestion and advises, basically critiques. Constructive critiques, mind u, not somebody ripping on me.

I don't know if this kind of thinking is wrong or right but I am sick and tired of people saying shit to each other, being butt hurt, hating each other and competing with so much stress and seeing those, I just feel like taking it easy, sit back, relax and build and ACTUALLY enjoys WHAT I did and HOW I did it.

And I hope that my peers, my comrades, my juniors, and my friends can really enjoy themselves with the hobby without anybody looking down on them, ripping on them and keep making friends and comrades.
BUT if you are looking for Constructive feed-backs and a community with cool people, join us over at the MECHA LOUNGE any time.

Happy Modelling, to all.


  1. Good one Gary. IMO a modeler needs to be a bit self centered, because if he is not, why is he doing it.

    We buy and make model kits for ourselves not for others ( well at least when we start this hobby)

    and I think the person every modeler is trying to please, is himself. But being praised is always nice and keeps the mojo up.

  2. You make me feel the moment on my first build.